Ange has been nominated again for the manager of the year, this time by the PFA.
The sports writers had already put forward their names, and he thoroughly deserved to be on that shortlist. He deserves to be on this one too.
For all his critics might long to give it to someone else – Ricky Foster and his clownish rationalisations were latest manifestation; his tip isn’t even on this list – this is Ange’s to lose, if these awards are to retain credibility.
The big guy stands on the brink of a title in his third country. To have done it here at the first time of asking, with all the pressure that was being applied to him, with all the doubters, to have rebuilt the team spending less than we brought in, to have gotten nearly every decision right, to have come from behind and a terrible start … it would be beyond belief if he was not to take the prize when the awards are handed out.
Last season’s awards were a travesty, and let’s not make any bones about it. Because Davidson should have won that by a country mile according to the criteria they are now trying to impose. The stupidity of the hacks who are pushing the narrative that Ange has had money to spend and was “expected” to win things is mind-blowing; it’s as if they haven’t twigged that their logic ends in a place where no manager at Parkhead or Ibrox would ever win these awards again. But, of course, that only applies whenever it suits them.
What does “exceptional achievement” mean, for example, if not Rodgers becoming the first manager in Scottish football history to win a back-to-back treble? Stein never managed that. Nor did Martin O’Neill.
Even those bosses at Ibrox never got there with all the resources they once had in relation to everybody else … but Brendan had that snatched away from him under the same phony justifications which Ange has to face down.
if Ange doesn’t win then the awards themselves have lost all value and meaning.
The inconsistency is staggering. Rodgers fails to win it and the two bodies split the difference and give one to Clarke and the other to Jack Ross. The writers gave Clarke it two years in a row … and then Lennon got it. Who makes this stuff up? Where is the thread of logic here? Davidson fails to win but Gerrard gets it that year instead.
These guys are all over the place. Added to that the inconvenient fact that two of the candidates for this year’s awards are grossly unsuitable and shouldn’t even be in the running for these sorts of baubles, and you could well end up with one body giving it to Neilson and the other giving it to Paul Hartley whilst double winning Ange gets nothing.
If the arguments in favour of these guys were even half decent – if they didn’t fall apart, as was so brilliantly demonstrated by Foster’s car crash effort the other day – you could indeed say this was a matter of some debate … but the words “piss” and “poor” come to mind when considering the case against Ange …. for that is what it is.
Remember, for these awards to go to someone else Ange’s achievement has to be devalued somehow, and when you consider how this season began and all the nonsense written about him and his team you realise that none of those arguments has teeth. All involved know full well that he had been written off and so had this side.
Yet here he stands, on the brink of a double and with a treble missed by cold inches … the circumfrence of a crossbar. The idea that Mackay or Neilson or Campbell or Hartley should be getting the gong really is nuts … Ange stands heads and shoulders above them all, in so many ways, for so many reasons.
That man has earned this recognition and a little goddamned respect. Come those awards nights, he is fully entitled, finally, to get everything he’s due.